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Crypto hacks in December push total losses close to $100m

crypto-hacks-in-december-push-total-losses-close-to-100m
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Crypto hacks in December push total losses close to $100m

December 2023 has experienced significant losses in cryptocurrency thefts, with the latest attack on Orbit Chain’s cross-chain bridge pushing the month’s total losses close to $100 million, according to blockchain security firms.

Blockchain security firm PeckShield reported on Jan. 1 that the $81.5 million exploit of the Orbit Bridge was a major contributor to December being the fifth-highest month for crypto hacks in 2023.

The exploit was also the ninth-highest hack targeting a cross-chain bridge over the past three years, it said.

Orbit Bridge, the bridging service of the cross-chain protocol Orbit Chain protocol launched in South Korea in 2018, confirmed the hack owing to a security breach on Dec. 31 at 8:52 pm UTC, which resulted in substantial losses of various cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum (ETH), USD Coin (USDC), Tether (USDT), and Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC).

Responding to this breach, Orbit Chain’s team announced on Jan. 1 their efforts to freeze the stolen assets, working closely with global cryptocurrency exchanges and law enforcement agencies.

2023 witnesses over $1.5 billion lost to hackers

Estimates from blockchain security firms like PeckShield, CertiK, and Beosin place the total crypto losses due to hacks, scams, and exploits throughout 2023 between $1.51 billion and $2 billion. Notably, 17% of these losses are attributed to the activities of the North Korean hacker group Lazarus.

https://twitter.com/CertiKAlert/status/1741870042537411000

PeckShield data reveals that September and November were particularly hit hard, with losses exceeding $700 million in these two months. This includes significant incidents like the Mixin Network losing $200 million in September and major exploits in November on Poloniex and HTX/Heco Bridge, leading to losses of $131.4 million and $113.3 million, respectively.

2023 also saw other notable hacks, such as Euler Finance losing $197 million in March and Multichain suffering a $125 million hack in July.

Despite these high-profile incidents, blockchain security firm Beosin highlighted a significant decline in hacks, phishing scams, and rug pulls compared to 2022. Total losses in 2023 were down from approximately $4.38 billion in the previous year.

https://twitter.com/BeosinAlert/status/1742058268456091702

Hacks experienced the most significant reduction, plummeting from $3.6 billion in 2022 to $1.39 billion in 2023, marking a decrease of about 61.2%. This data suggests a relative improvement in the security and vigilance within the crypto sector, even as challenges persist.